United Airlines Apologizes to Mom for 'Humiliating' Special Needs Daughter
United Airlines has apologized to a New Jersey mother after she claimed they "humiliated" her special needs daughter on a Dec. 30 flight.
Elit Kirschenbaum is a mom of four, including 3-year-old Ivy, who has Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. Kirschenbaum says her family was boarded on a United flight from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, to Newark, New Jersey.
According to Kirschenbaum, during the pre-flight check, a flight attendant said she was not allowed to hold Ivy on her lap during takeoff and landing. The attendant said Ivy must be in her own seat, even though the little girl is unable to sit upright by herself.
In a Tumblr post, Kirschenbaum wrote, "My husband pleaded with her, my other 3 children were sobbing, my niece was sobbing, other passengers were getting involved yet this woman still displayed zero compassion ... The pilot’s compromise was that my daughter Ivy was placed in a seat and buckled in for take off and landing. She had to lay across my husband’s lap for this duration as she is unable to sit up. She was permitted to return to my lap for the other portion of the flight."
"My family was humiliated in front of a full flight of passengers. The flight ended up taking off almost an hour late. As we deplaned, multiple passengers approached me and stated that they planned on contacting United about our horrific treatment at the hands of the crew member. #unitedwithivy."
Kirschenbaum said on Twitter this morning that United had contacted her and apologized over the phone.
— Elit Kirschenbaum (@kirsch71) January 2, 2015